Aakash Chopra has pointed out that Team India have a huge selection conundrum ahead of the second T20I against England, which will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday, July 9.
The Indian team registered a convincing 50-run win in the first T20I in Southampton. However, with the Test team members - Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah - joining the squad for the last two games, the team management will be in a quandary about how to accommodate them in the playing XI.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra questioned which of the batters could be dropped to play Kohli at No. 3. He elaborated:
"Virat Kohli is back, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah are also available. Whom will you play and whom will you leave out in this match because no one did a bad job in the last match. You want to bring Kohli at No. 3 but if Kohli comes, who will go out?"
The cricketer-turned-commentator added that finding a place for Iyer and Pant will also be tough. Chopra observed:
"Will you give a chance to Shreyas Iyer? Where will Rishabh Pant play if he gets a chance to play? Or will you take the easy route out, that let's go with the team that was playing, let's not worry about that it is necessary to play whoever has come in."
Suryakumar Yadav is expected to keep his spot in the middle order, considering that he is returning to the mix after a long injury layoff. Kohli is likely to replace either Ishan Kishan or Deepak Hooda in such a scenario, depending on whether he is made to open or bat at his customary No. 3 position.
"You will not be able to play anyone instead of Ishan Kishan" - Aakash Chopra
Chopra feels Kishan is unlikely to be one of the batters to be left out. He reasoned:
"Ishan Kishan did not play well but you will not be able to play anyone instead of Ishan Kishan because openers are usually sacrosanct, once you play someone, you want to be with him. So you will probably not make a change there."
While almost ruling out Shreyas' chances of playing, the 44-year-old reiterated that creating spots for Kohli and Pant would be a tough ask. Chopra explained:
"So that means Virat Kohli at three, so where will Deepak Hooda bat, will he play or not? That is a big big question. I don't see Shreyas Iyer playing although let's be honest, he played very well against Sri Lanka. In place of whom will Rishabh Pant play? This is a really really tough one."
However, Chopra believes making a place for Jadeja and Bumrah is a little more straightforward. The former Indian batter feels the duo should replace Axar Patel and Harshal Patel, respectively, in the playing XI.
Poll : Should Virat Kohli replace Deepak Hooda in India's XI for the 2nd T20I?